DJ Naves: South African Flavor..Talks Keith Murray robbery, and Hip Hop in Africa

DJ Naves has been rockin’ the South African airwaves with his Hip-Hop show since 2005. His show is the biggest of it’s kind in the country and some argue that it’s the biggest Hip-Hop show in Africa, period. Naves, a 23 year old from Johannesburg, South Africa, started deejaying at age 18 and has been […]

DJ Naves has been rockin’ the South

African airwaves with his Hip-Hop show since 2005. His show is the

biggest of it’s kind in the country and some argue that it’s the

biggest Hip-Hop show in Africa, period. Naves, a 23 year old from

Johannesburg, South Africa, started deejaying at age 18 and has been

deejaying and promoting Hip-Hop parties that have drawn mass attendees.

Naves, a student majoring in international marketing and management, is

dedicated to bridging the gap between South Africa’s Hip-Hop scene and

the scene here in the United States. He takes pride in being capable of

exposing new music to listeners who would not have the opportunity to

hear it otherwise.

DJ Naves was initially exposed to the culture through friends and

Hip-Hop fans on the streets of South Africa and hasn’t looked back

since. As an attendee of the 2008 St. Louis DJ Retreat and Convention,

we were able to meet Naves personally and “chop it up” to get his take

on Africa’s Hip-Hop scene, the Keith Murray situation as well as some

of the up and coming South African Hip-Hop artists and DJs… Well first of all, welcome to America, looks like

you’re enjoying yourself. Tell us a little about the Hip-Hop scene over

in South Africa.

DJ Naves: The Hip-Hop scene in South Africa is an emerging market

with huge potential for growth. More independent companies are coming

up and they’re not relying on the majors anymore. Yeah that seems like the way to go right now. A lot

of artists here in the U.S. are going the independent route as well.

Now let’s go right in! The whole situation with Keith Murray being

robbed and having his laptop stolen out of a studio over there, do you

know anything about that situation?

DJ Naves: Yeah I do. Keith Murray was actually on my radio show on

that Saturday and that whole week they were recording new material, so

I think what happened was somebody knew where they were recording and

it was kind of like a set-up. He was recording with an independent

label and I think some guys, possibly from another label, came in to

try to destabilize the project that he was working on. Yeah because we heard a lot of drama about him losing

his music catalogue of 15 years of music that was on that laptop and…

DJ Naves: Guys walked into the studio with guns! One of the

producers that was in the session is highly famous in our country and

they told him while they were robbing him, “Keep making that good

music!” (laughs) Can you imagine guys robbing you and then at the same

time they’re like, “Yo, keep doing good music!” (laughs) That’s kinda crazy! Okay moving right along

and away from the drama, tell us what you have going on in South Africa

right now.

DJ Naves: Right now I’m working on an urban radio station with about

five million listeners, the catch with my station is that it has an

older audience but when it comes to my show, we draw listeners from 16

to 34 years of age but the station’s main target market is 26 to 34.

We’re getting a younger crowd and it’s an emerging market, it’s a new

demographic, young black people with money, they call them “Black

Diamonds”. On my show, because of Hip-Hop, the old school songs relate

to the older people and the new stuff I play relates to the younger

people, so that’s the common ground with my show. Are there any up and coming artists or DJs from South Africa that we need to be looking out for?

DJ Naves: Yeah there’s a group called Jozi and one of the members is

named Les, he’s actually from here in the ‘States’, he relocated to

Africa when he was about 16. We have about nine different languages in

South Africa and he’s learned about two or three and he’s managed to

mix the rap coming out of the ‘States’ with what we’re doing locally in

South Africa and it sounds beautiful, so I think Jozi is a group to

watch out for. There’s a group that actually put Hip-Hop on the map in

South Africa named Skwatta Kamp, they’ve got something going on with

Ludacris, they’re also ones to look for. We’ve got this guy who’s a

legend in Hip-Hop named Amunition, he’s making beats now and is about

to release his last album and from there he just wants to make beats

all day, everyday and keep feeding the masses, so it’s looking good for

South Africa right now. Some other DJs to look out for are DJ Naked and

DJ C-Live and another artist to be on the look out for is Slikour, he’s

really making things happen right now! Do you have any projects that you’re working on like

mixtapes or albums to showcase some of these South African artists on a

global level?

DJ Naves: I’m in the process of doing something like that right now.

I actually just got about 15 tracks and we’re just finishing the mixing

and mastering for that project. I’m putting together a mixtape which is

going to be released in South Africa and I’m going to put it up on the

internet so people around the world will be able to download it and get

it from there as well. I’m just trying to bridge the gap between South

Africa the ‘States’ and everywhere else. I think the more we share the

music the more we get better ideas about what we can do to make things

better for Hip-Hop. Exactly! Are you involved with any charities or foundations over there that you want to speak on?

DJ Naves: What we do is throw events in the name of charities and

all of the proceeds from the show go to that foundation. It’s not just

one, there’s a couple of them that we look at and the one that is in

serious need is the one that we work with for that month and then the

following month, we’ll work with another foundation. Sounds good, appreciate you taking the time to holler

at us, we’re definitely interested in anything that you have going on

from the Motherland, Africa, but especially South Africa due to all of

the situations that have transpired there over the years…

DJ Naves: Thanks for the love man! gives me a lot of

content for my show, I’m on your website like almost everyday checking

out what’s going on in the ‘States’ because I gotta bridge the gap! No doubt!

Stay tuned for more interviews from the 2008 DJ Technology

Convention as well as the upcoming Story/Interview with the Baka Boyz.

For more info and updates check out